communication - how do I say this ...

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
communication - how do I say this ...
Thu, 02-11-2010 - 6:24pm

You know - with this new guy I'm with - my boyfriend ... he's 37, I'm 34. He's got kids. Sometimes I feel like I do all of the work. Of course, he does all of the cooking - but I am the one to have to drive over to HIS place all the time - which is MORE convenient, I know. For both of us.

Because I live with my family - and its not convenient to have them all over here. But then ... like just now ... I called him about an hour or two ago - and it's like I always have to call HIM. You know? And why hasn't he called back, when I know he's at home loafing around?

Like ... what's up with that? And how do I APPROACH him with that concern - like How do I SAY THAT to him? You know? I mean - I really do think he's into me - but then, sometimes I think, gosh I make this pretty easy for him.

Always running around for him. I do a lot for his kids. Take care of them and play with them. And I don't think he should be at my beck and call - but why doesn't he call me back - or even take the initiative and call me first? You know?

And my ex-H was an alcoholic, so I did EVERYTHING, you know? My ex was LAZY - so it all fell on me. So ... I dunno. I just don't want this to be a pattern.

Where I GIVE. Giving is wonderful and is a joy - but I don't want to be EASY. You know? Am I making sense? So ... should I say something to him? If so ... what do I say? How do I say it?


iVillage Member
Registered: 10-30-2004
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 8:32am
You're doing too much and he's taking you for granted.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-04-2006
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 11:20am

You can do one of two things.

First choice is to talk to him about it and see what he does. See if he puts more of an effort into contacting you, or doing more. If he does, wonderful, if he doesn't, well, you then have a choice to make.

Second choice is what the book The Rules would suggest you do. Sometimes the things work, sometimes they don't. Just back off. Don't call him. Let him call you. Don't offer to go over to his place either wait until he asks, or ask him to your place (folks or not), or ask him to meet at a park to enjoy the day with the kids (granted, its winter though. hmm....maybe that won't work). Don't do everything for him. See what happens.

If you're doing too much (which IMHO, you are) and he's not doing anything, then you ARE making it easy for him.

My opinion would be to approach him like this...."I feel like I'm doing all the work. I'm calling you. I'm going to your house. I'm doing things with the kids, etc". Since I don't know his "fighting" style, I couldn't tell you his reaction.

i.e. I had to approach my DH with this when we were dating. His reaction was that he doesn't have the time to call me, to come over, etc. I said, "that's fine, then I think I'll need some time to rethink this r'ship". Which was the truth. He kinda freaked out and said, "if that's what you need". So, I did. I took a step back. I stopped calling, stopped making it easy, stopped everything. I just did my thing. He'd call, if I was free, great. If I wasn't oh well. And since I was busy half the time, he'd start "chasing" more. I basically STOPPED allowing my life to revolve around his. It wasn't easy. Sometimes I'd get resentful that he wouldn't call me for a week or more, but at the same time, I no longer felt taken advantage of.

Not all men are like that though. Some are flat out lazy. Some don't want to make the effort, even if they do like you. It took my now DH a long time to come around. He'd still put me behind everyone else when it came to importance. And well, at the time, I started to just live my life and move on. He started making more of an effort when I stopped completely. I figured, if he was interested, he'd make the time/effort. And he did. At that point, is when I was willing to become more serious. Until then, I was doing my thing, living my life, hanging out with him as a friend and nothing more.

How your DBF reacts and how you handle it will determine how things will go. If he's not willing or able to make more of an effort, will you stay with him? Will you keep doing everything and become resentful? Will you choose to leave? I would have the talk with him, see how it goes and reevaulate things as necessary.


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Community Leader
Registered: 08-25-2006
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 12:41pm

Cheryl said...

I basically STOPPED allowing my life to revolve around his.

I think this is really the gist of what is going on with you and your BF.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Fri, 02-12-2010 - 1:51pm

I would like to know:

1) how old are his kids?
2) does he have them f.t. or share custody?
3) how long have you been dating?

When I was dating my 2nd DH, we both had kids but since I was divorce, my ex would have them every other weekend plus 2 nights a week. My 2nd DH was a widower so he had his DD full time. After we had been dating quite a while, I would go to his house for dinner every Tues. night and he would cook so I guess I was going over there more than he was coming to my house, which was just for circumstances, so I didn't mind that.

I don't see that going to his house is the problem, but you shouldn't be doing that much for his kids--you're not the stepmom yet! Of course, if they are little kids and you are visiting, you're going to be playing w/ them, not ignoring them, but as far as actually taking care of them--that's not your job! Don't let him take advantage of you. And he should be taking you out even if he has to get a babysitter. My 2nd DH's DD spent one night a week w/ her grandma who lived down the street so on that night, we always used to go out. At least that made up for having to stay in a lot on weekends. Right now you're acting like the mom & not getting any of the perks.

So I would say--don't call him and see how long it takes him to call you. Don't be totally available all the time. You should still have your own life. Tell him that you don't want to spend all your time eating dinner at his house & being w/ his kids. You want some time to do things as adults. If he doesn't go along w/ these reasonable requests, then you can see that he is basically looking for someone to help him out more than a romantic partner.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 8:47am
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2008
Sat, 02-13-2010 - 12:24pm

I've always looked at it this way...My SOs kids are there to see him and spend time with him (not me).

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 6:28am

Hello inked dog mom :-) Thank you for the comments!!! I appreciate it so much! To be honest, he and I have never had a fight! Which is so wonderful. It's been about ... 8 months that we've been dating :-) Both of us are kind-of non-fighters. Which is surprising, because in my last relationship it was CONSTANT CONFLICT! I mean like ... explosive anger conflict.

Well ... I am feeling like a big jerk because ... come to find out ... while I was pouting around the house wondering why he didn't call me back - he was out at the grocery store and wal-mart with the kids preparing for dinner and getting stuff for a weekend getaway - the five of us. I don't think he's Lazy at all - I think he's a bit of a ding-bat with his cell-phone (he leaves it in the kitchen or in the car and forgets about it). One time - I knocked on his door and rang the doorbell several times - and come to find out - after I drove ALL THE WAY HOME - he was in there on his bed watching TV!!! HAHA!!! And I CRIED the whole way home. Thinking - where is he? Why can't I reach him?

I don't think he's lazy - just maybe he gets in his own zone, you know? Which actually works out OK - because OH MAN - I get focused on something and there is NOTHING that can distract me!!!

Maybe he and I are just similar? He is NOT a techie guy at all. He's very simple. There is just ONE thing about him that kind-of concerns me. I will probably post it separately. It has to do with the fact that he likes women to be thin - and he'll make COMMENTS about women who aren't thin - and I think it's very Rude, actually. Honestly - some of the women he comments on - I think are perfectly FINE! You know? Anyways - I will post that later - because it's a separate issue altogether!

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-07-2006
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 6:32am

Hello! to answer the questions:

1) how old are his kids? they are 8, 7 and 4.

2) does he have them f.t. or share custody? shares custody - he gets them every other week.

3) how long have you been dating? 8 months :-)

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-20-2002
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 8:23am
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-20-2008
Tue, 02-16-2010 - 9:03am

I am wondering if you have looked into why you have allowed yourself to get into a relationship where you feel you are doing 'everything' again.

The choices we make in thought, word and deed inevitably return to us in kind.